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Niagara Falls - Maid of the Mist
An exciting experience!
I RECENTLY had occasion to visit Niagara Falls and to see it as I had never seen it before - very close up .. on the Maid of the Mist. I can assure you that it is an exciting experience. Please come along with me for this exciting experience of a lifetime. I promise you, you won't regret it.
My family and I were visiting the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, called such because of its shape. I had been there several times since my first visit in 1958, but there was one thing that I had never done - I had never taken a boat ride up the river, right into the face of the falls. Yet, people have been doing this since the Maid of the Mist boat excursions were inaugurated in 1848. Millions have taken this exciting journey.
Now it was my turn.
Maid Of The Mist - An exciting ride
I took this photo of others on the Maid of the Mist ... before my ride! It looked scarey down there!
Even though I knew that millions of people had taken this ride before with no mishaps, my knees felt weak and my throat went dry while boarding. What if, yes, what if this time we got too close to the falls and didn't escape?
Boats leave regularly from both sides of the river, the American side as well as the Canadian side. The queues are constant. We could see people of every age group, even little children, donning the lightweight black plastic raincoats that are a necessary protection against the spray. The boat, Maid of the Mist VII, can carry up to 582 passengers. It weighs 145 tons [132 metric tonnes] and is 80 feet [24 m] long and 30 feet [9 m] wide at the beam.
Maid of the Mist - Video - Canadian Horseshoe Falls
Hear the roar of the waterfall!
No turning back now
We lined up with the crowd, and as soon as the Maid of the Mist VII had disgorged its group of wet and bedraggled tourists, we streamed on. I could see that we were in for an exciting journey.
In the distance, less than a mile away, the waters thundered over the lip of the falls, dropping a distance of 170 feet [52 m] into the 180-foot- [55 m] deep basin below.
Our boat headed out into the river where we plowed through the swirling waters to the foot of the falls, which has a total drop of 176 feet [54 m]. The most exciting part lay just ahead of us.
Tension heightened as we got nearer and nearer to the crashing waters. It soon became impossible to take photos because of the wind and the violent spray that filled the air. The pilot seemed to take forever as he edged the boat closer and closer to the point of impact where every minute more than six million cubic feet [168,000 cu m] of water breaks over the crest line and crashes down just in front of the boat!
The noise was tremendous. You could hardly hear yourself shout. My heart pounded and I started giggling in nervousness. This was indeed an experience of a lifetime!
Our turn for getting drenched - it left me giggling
Here are some passengers getting drenched.
After what seemed like an eternity, the pilot at last slowly backed our Maid away from the danger line and swung us downstream. I breathed a sigh of relief. We had made it. But really, there never was any doubt. The company that operates these boats has an accident-free record. The general manager of the steamboat company assured us that each boat is equipped with life jackets and rafts sufficient for the maximum capacity of passengers. No room for any Titanic mistakes here!
Maid of the Mist - Is an exciting ride.
Have you riden on the Maid of the Mist?
Items I recommend - Make your experience comfortable
You can do without any or all of the following items but, you will be able to enjoy Niagara Falls to the fullest if you have binoculars to view the scenes, a camera to capture the fun, and the proper clothing to keep comfortable.
The best guide that you can get to help you find your way with the least difficulties.
There is so much to see. You won't miss a thing if you take these waterproof binoculars with you to Niagara.
With all of that water everywhere take along a waterproof camera to get the best shots and not have your camera ruined.
The raincoat you will be provided with when you ride on the Maid of th Mist has a hood but it doesn't keep your hair dry. I recommend that you take a rain hat. This one would be good.
If you go on Maid of the Mist you will be provided a raincoat with a hood but I recommend that you take something warm and snuggley for under it.
Niagara Falls - Horseshoe - Daytime scenes
One of the most photogenic places in the world - Niagara Falls.
The Falls Are Retreating! - Erosion
Yes, erosion has taken its toll on the falls. It is estimated that over the last 12,000 years, the falls at Niagara have retreated about seven miles [11 km], to their present location. At one time the rate of erosion was about three feet [1 m] per year. Now it is down to about one foot [36 cm] every ten years. What is the reason for this erosion?
The water passes over a hard top layer of dolomite limestone that lies on layers of soft sandstone and shale. These lower layers get eroded, and then the limestone rocks collapse and fall to the basin below.
Water Not Wasted - Hydroelectricity
The vast quantity of water that comes down the short Niagara River (35 miles [56 km]) is from four of the five Great Lakes. It flows northward from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. During this short journey, it is exploited to produce hydroelectricity, which is shared by Canada and the United States. It is said to be one of the world's greatest sources of hydroelectric power. The Canadian and U.S. power plants have, between them, a capacity of 4,200,000 kilowatts. The water for the turbines is taken from the Niagara before the river reaches the falls.
Niagara Falls for the whole family and .. - easy on the budget
From the shopping and culinary experience to camping and fun for the children of all ages, there is something for everyone at Niagara Falls.
The Movie - Niagara
"NIAGARA" is an hour-and-a-half of vintage Hollywood movie entertainment, with one of the biggest stars of the era in her prime (Miss Monroe of course). And when Marilyn is combined with those stunning Falls of Niagara, this film becomes all the more inviting and impressive.
NIAGARA is truly a tense and haunting film. Could have been made by the master himself (Hitchcock).
An enthusiastically-recommended movie
Niagara - A powerful falls.
Although Marilyn Munroe is not featured in this segment of the movie, it shows the force of the falls at the top.
Honeymoons and the Night Lights - Very romantic!
Niagara Falls is a favorite spot for honeymoon couples. This was especially true after the 1953 film, "Niagara." At night the falls are illuminated by colored spotlights, which give another dimension to the beauty and majesty of this unique spot on our planet. Certainly a visit to Canada and the United States is incomplete without a trip to this wonder of the world.
Niagara Falls - In the evening
Millions are going to Niagara Falls - It's a beautiful, exciting vacation spot.
Have you been to Niagara Falls?
A Winter Wonder Land - Unbelievably beautiful!
Niagara Falls is not just a vacation spot during the summer. I invite you to visit there in the winter. What you will see will impress you for the rest of your life. I know that it did me.
Niagara Falls is a beautiful place on this planet .. summer, winter, spring or fall, daytime or in the evening.
If you are a little adventuresome, don't forget to take a boat ride!
You won't regret it or forget it.
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